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Petpet Name: Raja
Pet Name: AidanStar
I was nameless. I was homeless. I was alone...
I watched, bored, as various Neopets peered through the cages. It wasn't likely that I'd be chosen. I wasn't exactly what you'd call beautiful, not in this state, at least.
My fur was ruffled and matted with dirt and twigs. My eyes had lost that energised spark, and I did not jump up to greet others, as I once would have.
I felt the connection as soon as our eyes met. A sleek red-furred Xweetok hurried over to me, clutching a fairly small bag of Neopoints. He unlocked the cage, and I cuddled in his warm, furry paws. He held me for some time, just stroking the sticks from my fur, and then checked the price tag on my cage.
With a start, he blinked. Roughly 17,000 Neopoints for this poorly treated Juma? The Xweetok looked worried. He gently placed me back in the crate, and hustled to the cashier.
"Can you keep this one for me?"
The cashier, a lazy-looking Bruce, nodded. "It's not like anyone else wants him, anyway. Scruffy as he is, you know?"
I watched with love-craving eyes as my "friend" sprinted away. A small sigh escaped me, and I trundled to the corner of the crate and laid down again. And yet... moments later, he was back.
The Xweetok clutched a small plastic bag with one paw, and a large bag of Neopoints with the other. He passed the Neopoints over the counter, then darted to my cage, unlatching it once more.
He picked me up, paws trembling with excitement and happiness. Then he left the store and headed down a stone path to a small, pretty cottage. He burst in and exclaimed, "This is your new home, little guy! Like it?"
A friendly voice sounded from another room.
"Aidan? You home?"
"Yeah, Malik. Bring your Gruslen over here and look at my new Petpet -- he's a Juma, I think." Malik's footsteps sounded as he rushed upstairs, woke his white Gruslen from its nap, and brought him down to where I was, in Aidan's paws by the doorstep. He set me down and let me meet the Gruslen and Malik. I enjoyed it quite a lot.
* * *
Now Aidan revealed what had been in the plastic bag. He pulled a brush out of the bag and stroked me gently, getting rid of the matted fur and twigs. When he was done, he said, "You look just like a king. Maybe I'll call you Raja."
I loved my new life. Three other Xweetoks lived in the house too, and they all had Petpets -- a Meturf, a Gruslen, and a Turtmid. I was fed average Petpet food, with occasional dinner scraps.
Aidan cradled me in his arms, stroking the soft fur behind my ears.
I rolled on my back and he scratched my stomach as I purr-growled happily.
I had a name. I had a home. And I had a friend.
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